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2019 Acura RDX - USB 5.1? VERIFIED!!

sjcorne

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Just received an interesting reply to my FB message to Acura's "ELS Studio Premium Audio" page. I've been messaging with them for a month trying to get clarification on "what" the new system in the 2019 RDX will play, and they confirmed the following today: "Hi John. The system plays 5.1 WAV 24 bit / 48 kHz discrete surround sound. We haven't checked 5.1 FLAC yet, but it does play 2.0 FLAC. The ELS Studio 3D system is truly amazing, hope you can hear it soon!" View attachment 32407
This sounds great!

Guess I'm not done with Acura after all
 
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This was good to hear! Does anyone know if the Krell equipped models will also play these WAV files discretely in surround?
 
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I just saw the pictures of the 2019 RDX on CNET and I see the new system is called the ELS Studio 3D. I don't see any openings for an optical disc though.
If it could play 5.1 through the USB port, I would definitely be interested in trading in my trusty 2013 TL Advance for a newer Acura.
 
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With the New York International Auto Show starting in a few days, the actual production RDX will be debuted. Hopefully we will get official, final specs on the ELS Studio 3D audio system at that point.
 
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I already posted on one of the other Acura threads, but didn't want members to miss out on this announcement by ELS Studio Premium Audio:
"Tune in today at 12:15 p.m. for the launch of the 2019 RDX featuring the brand new ELS STUDIO 3D premium audio system!" They sent me a FB Message a couple weeks ago: "The system plays 5.1 WAV 24 bit / 48 kHz discrete surround sound. We haven't checked 5.1 FLAC yet, but it does play 2.0 FLAC."
Acura - Facebook Live Stream
 

sjcorne

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Update from ELS Studio via Facebook...
This is such great news...in a way it's better than having to burn new discs and carry them around. Obviously I'd like to confirm all this for myself on a test drive sometime soon, but for now I am VERY excited.

I guess the thread title should be changed...
 
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JonUrban

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We should make up an up-to-date post in the workshop forum with step-by-step directions for new converters/rippers FOR THEIR OWN USE IN THEIR CARS!! :)

This is great news, and is going to cost me money. From now on, all QQ Members will be required to pay a $1000 fee for use of the forum. First 50 members who sign up get a copy of their favorite Jim Nabors Q8 to 4.0 USB stick! :devilish:
 

sjcorne

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We should make up an up-to-date post in the workshop forum with step-by-step directions for new converters/rippers FOR THEIR OWN USE IN THEIR CARS!!
The best part is that this can be done COMPLETELY FREE (aside from the cost of a USB stick), unlike DTS-CD or DVD-A.

All you need is MakeMKV to decrypt Blu's, DVD-A Explorer to rip DVD-As, and AudioMuxer or Foobar for the FLAC conversion. It's all freeware!

I think even the most tech-resistant members could handle this.
 

JonUrban

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I watched it last night but was so underwhelmed that I didn't even bother to post here. It was certainly an ad for the car but they barely talked about the audio system other than it was from ELS and it "sounded great". Nothing about 5.1 at all. Frustrating, but I love that color red on the car.

Allegedly, that color will not be available on the production run.
 
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I watched it live and it was 10 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back. Considering that Panasonic arranged it, there was no meaningful information about the new ELS Studio 3D audio system. Wasted opportunity to at least give a run down of the specs beyond the number of speakers and a few in the ceiling. Again, Panasonic should have realized that anyone that would watch the video is interested in the audio system.
 

jamesc

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Okay, I just got back from the local unveiling and it was bittersweet. I think the new RDX is beautifully done. It looks very sharp in person. However, I could not get 5.1 out of the new ELS system. They had all four trims and I tried the system in the Tech, A-Spec, and Advance hoping that one of them would work with the files I brought but no luck. The Tech had the sticker on the window so it was definitely a production car.

First off, an NTFS formatted USB stick could not be read which isn't unusual. I was hoping since it's a newer system that it would have the capability. The FAT32 formatted 64GB Samsung Fit drive was read just fine though.

I brought a bunch of files that were provided by various members, plus some official sample files that I found on the net and a few stereo FLACs from my collection. The good news is I thought the 16/44.1 stereo Eagles - Hotel California files sounded fantastic. The system displayed embedded album art and the screen is nice. I also played 24/96 New Order - Music Complete files. That is a 2015 album and is pretty compressed and didn't sound as good but the system played them fine.

I could not get any of the multichannel FLAC files to play (I had files from five different sources). I would get a "The selected file cannot be played on this system" error message and the system would move on to the next track. HomerJAU provided a very nice set of FLAC test files in various resolutions and number of channels. None of them would play except, get this, the Quad 4.0 files in 16/44.1 and 24/96. I didn't try the other resolutions (it was pretty chaotic with a lot of people getting in and out of the cars and pushing various buttons). So, those files played fine but not in surround... it was just summed stereo. His files alternate between the various channels and say what channel is playing. So, the Front Left and Back Left announcements came out of the Front Left (and presumably the Rear Left) speakers. Almost all of my multichannel test files were FLACs but luckily a member gave me a couple of multichannel WAV files to test with as well. The multichannel WAV files in 16/44.1 and 24/96 resolutions played but same deal as the Quad 4.0 files... just summed stereo. Those were the only two multichannel WAV files I had so I suppose there's a possibility that those were formatted in a way that the system couldn't decode. I will try to test drive the A-Spec this week and will convert the rest of my multichannel FLAC files to WAVs and will retest.

I was hoping maybe something was set in the audio options that was preventing it from decoding the surround but DTS Neural was switched off and I couldn't see any other setting that should have made a difference. I figured DTS Neural switched on would create pseudo surround so I left it off but maybe I'll try both positions for my test drive.

I also found a 16/44.1 DTS surround test track on the web with similar call outs of the channels but that just played static so it doesn't seem to recognize DTS encoded material. It plays fine in my Sony BDP.

Hopefully, I was just unlucky with the two multichannel WAV files I had and others will play properly. If not, I suppose they could enable the feature with an OTA update but Acura doesn't seem to do those much, do they? I can understand how it would be a support nightmare if they advertise this feature since there isn't much multichannel material out there for the average consumer but it would be nice if they could enable it as an "unsupported" bonus.

Other gripes...

- I thought you could skip tracks by clicking the thumb wheels on the steering wheel left or right but they didn't do anything. The track skip buttons by the volume control did work though.

- The system didn't seem to honor track numbers either in the file name or tag and just alphabetized the tracks in the folders. Seemed pretty dumb if you want to play an album in it's usual order. I didn't have any playlist files though so I'll try to test that out on my test drive.

- The new touchpad wasn't as easy to use as I was hoping but it might just be a matter of getting used to it.

Thanks to everyone who provided suggestions and files!!
 
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